29 September 2022
A laboratory in your hand through a light chip
- Regio Deal Brainport Eindhoven
In Brainport Eindhoven we change the world because here we develop key technologies that change society. We can only do that because of our pioneers. Therefore, meet our pioneer: Atharva Kale.
My name is Atharva Kale. I’m 22 years old and originally I’m from India, from a small town near Mumbai. At the age of five, I moved to China with my parents, but because of some health complications, I had to go back to my grandmother in India. When I was 12 years old I went back to China and three years later we came to Eindhoven because my dad could work for Philips. So I live here for six years now. I’m officially becoming a Dutch citizen soon.
I’m in my second year of the joined bachelor programme Data Science at TU/e and Tilburg University. At the TU/e we learn about technical aspects of data science, such as programming, and at Tilburg University we learn a lot about ethics, the legal aspects and also innovation and regulation aspects. It’s really nice because, in the end, you become an all-around data scientist.
Before I studied Econometrics at Tilburg University, with the aim to study Data Science. But in my second year, I missed the coding experience and real-life applications. I was just doing a lot of theoretical maths, which I love, but I need to be able to apply my knowledge. That’s why I switched. I’m really glad I did.
I’m going to do a master. I’m now thinking of the master in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence at JADS (Jheronimus Academy of Data Science), in Den Bosch. For me, that’s the most exciting one, because that’s the most unknown one. There’s a lot to research, do and innovate in that field.
I have a few different jobs at the university. All those jobs take up different aspects, like professionalism, organisation and things like that. I’m a student assistant for all of the courses of Data Science. There I helped with the reaccreditation by NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie) to make sure the programme is legitimate and good for students. I helped and offered my student view on what needs to change and what needs to happen to grow the Data Science programme.
Another job that I have is student assessor for the executive board of the department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The executive board makes all the decisions regarding finances, students, intake and so forth. Again here I offer my and other students views on all kinds of issues. Especially due to COVID-19 there were a lot of issues.
I’m also a student mentor. In that role, I help the first-year students get acquainted with the program, the university and student life.
As someone who has a mixed background and all kinds of experiences, I think it’s important that other people hear what I have to say and that my views were represented. In big organisations like the university, individual voices get lost. With my jobs, I was giving these individual voices a platform. I was in a position where my voice wasn’t heard and I don’t want that to happen to others.
I’m in a startup as well. I’m one of the founding members and the CFO of A place for now. It’s an initiative that was started in collaboration with the TU/e but is now a startup on its own, with just six students. We are dealing with the housing crisis, which is not only in Eindhoven but in all of the Netherlands, especially for students. A lot of my international friends had issues with finding a house. I even know a story of a girl from Australia who had to spend a night on the streets here. That’s why I and the other members are trying to find solutions to housing.
Later I want to do data science in Formula 1 because Formula 1 is my passion. As a kid, I wanted to be a driver, but obviously, that wasn’t possible. But as a data scientist, I can work still for Formula 1. You gather tons of data to make sense of it. Almost every millisecond. Sometimes even nanoseconds. A Formula 1 racing car has about 300 to 500 sensors on the car and cars of the larger teams such as Ferrari even have 900 up to 1.100 sensors on the car. Data scientists turn the collected data into a strategy. A lot of the racing circuits now are kind of driven by data. It almost doesn't matter who drives the car: the right strategy decides the results.
For me, the biggest aspect is learning. I want to learn a lot of different things. I’m a person who usually picks up a lot of books from everywhere, even when the books don’t have anything to do with my field. I just want to know a lot of different things.
Of course, I still have to get used to the four seasons, especially with the cold. But in terms of pollution, the climate is way better here. In China, it was a common occurrence to use face masks. And in India, the noise was always there. I like the quietness here. Also, the closeness and availability of means here are very nice. I really enjoy living here.
Just get through the first year. It’s pretty complicated and tough. Make sure you don’t overbook yourself and have enough spare time. But after that, make sure that you take chances and make the most out of the opportunities. It’s really easy to meet other people and do things all the time. Whether it be for fun or business. Take these chances, because that will leads to the best experience for sure.